QUEENS — Jamaica Avenue may soon look brighter, as elected officials are working on a plan to install new LED lights along the busy thoroughfare.
The new light fixtures would be installed along Jamaica Avenue from Woodhaven to Richmond Hill, according to local Councilman Eric Ulrich, who allocated $500,000 for the project in next year's budget.
If the item is approved, the street lighting may be installed within a year on the more than one-mile stretch between the Brooklyn border and Lefferts Boulevard, Ulrich said.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is also planning to allocate funds for the project, however the exact amount has not yet been determined, her office said. The exact number of lights was also unclear.
According to Urlich, the Department of Transportation estimated that the project would cost about $750,000-800,000, although the agency did not confirm that amount.
“We really need to do a lot to make Jamaica Avenue safer, brighter and cleaner," Ulrich said at a recent 102nd Precinct community meeting in Richmond Hill. “It needs an upgrade.”
He said that current street lights along Jamaica Avenue are about three decades old. They also use a lot of energy and are not being replaced when they stop working, he said.
“We are going to rip all of them out and put brand new, modern looking, state-of-the-art, nice light fixtures on Jamaica Avenue,” he said.
Ulrich also said he hopes that the new lights will not only improve the appearance of the avenue, but they will also make people feel safer at night and attract more shoppers on winter afternoons.
Nicole Garcia, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation, said in an email that the agency is working closely with Ulrich on the project and that "improving lighting conditions is one of the key goals in the agency’s Vision Zero efforts."